The Truth About The Bachelor's Chelsea Vaughn

The first episode of each season of The Bachelor feels like a Champagne-soaked blur. So many of the contestants' names go in one ear and out the other; the rose ceremony is full of "Wait, when did we meet her?" moments. On the flip side, there's always a handful of contenders who immediately stick with the audience. There's first impression rose recipient Abigail Heringer, who joked around about how nervous she was and chatted with the series lead about being born deaf. Khaylah Epps created quite the charming mini date when she invited fellow North Carolinian Matt James to enjoy some sweet tea under the stars in the back of her pickup truck. And there's Bri Springs, the first person out of the limo and the first person to get a rose at the rose ceremony. Who can forget Rachael Kirkconnell's emotional moment following Matt's group prayer? 

And, of course, one of the standout members of The Bachelor Season 25 premiere's cast is Chelsea Vaughn, a New York City-based model originally from Marietta, Georgia, who arrived in an unforgettable dress. Later on in the episode, Chelsea showed Matt her runway walk. It was a brief albeit delightful scene. And given that she was not eliminated on night one, it looks like we will be getting more Chelsea scenes on this season of The Bachelor.

So, who is Chelsea Vaughn? Here's what we know about this The Bachelor contestant so far.

Chelsea Vaughn 'took a risk' that changed her life

Chelsea Vaughn's modeling career took off after she made a major life change. Her bio on the ABC website begins, "After graduating college and getting a full-time job in corporate America, Chelsea did one of the most outrageous things she's ever done in her life ... she quit her job, strutted her way into the world of modeling and never looked back!"

Clearly, that career change worked out for her. "A year ago today, I took a risk and left my full time corporate job to focus on modeling," she wrote on Instagram in August 2019. "Since then, my dreams have literally come true, more than once!" Over at her Instagram page, you can see snaps from New York Fashion Week, various photoshoots, and a video she took when she was on a billboard in Times Square. 

Chelsea is currently represented by MMG, which just so happens to be the same agency that represents her fellow contestant Mari Pepin. The night of the premiere, the MMG Facebook page shared photos of their two clients meeting Matt James for the first time. 

A reality TV alum made Chelsea Vaughn's premiere dress

Jaws dropped when Chelsea Vaughn walked up to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in that dress on night one of The Bachelor Season 25. If you watched the premiere, you surely remember the moment: Chelsea arrived in a stunner of a floor-length gown that had all of the cutouts. Not surprisingly, the series lead took notice. As Chelsea headed into the resort following their introduction, Matt James said, "She is wearing that dress."

As Refinery29 pointed out, the dress was created by A'kai Littlejohn, "an 18-year-old CFFA Emerging Designer of the Year recipient who was also a contestant on Project Runway Junior's second season." Littlejohn placed ninth that season, and clearly, he's found tremendous success since the Project Runway spin-off.

When a fan praised the dress in Chelsea's Instagram comments, The Bachelor contestant replied, "thank you so much! My amazingly talented friend designed it @akailittlejohn." The talented designer also left a comment on Chelsea's IG: "you look stunning so honored."

Chelsea Vaughn made a TikTok about applying for The Bachelor

After ABC released the Season 25 cast list, Chelsea Vaughn shared some important content of her own on Instagram. On Dec. 11, 2020, Chelsea uploaded a TikTok she created that's set to Megan Thee Stallion's "Girls in the Hood." In the clip, she walks the viewer through her The Bachelor application process. "Applying for The Bachelor knowing good and well it will NEVER happen," she wrote. Of course, we all now know how that ended up.

As for the button on the video? You better believe she ended the TikTok with a snippet from The Bachelor trailer in which she just so happens to be smooching Matt James. Well played, Chelsea. Well played. 

The comments on the terrific video suggest that she endeared herself to members of Bachelor Nation long before the premiere aired. "you were so beautiful he couldn't even close his d*** eyes for that kiss," one Instagram user wrote. Other comments include: "Cannot wait to watch," "This is gold," and "You are already one of my favs!!" 

Chris Harrison is a Chelsea Vaughn fan

Hey, if there is one person in the world of The Bachelor who is good to have in your corner, it is the one and only Chris Harrison. And what do you know? It sure sounds like he happens to be a fan of Chelsea Vaughn. 

When it came time for Chris to introduce Chelsea on the "Meet the Women" livestream in December 2020, he only had glowing things to say about the Season 25 hopeful. After offering a little snark about some past contestants who have identified as models ("We've had a lot of 'models' over the years, but that's not Chelsea"), the beloved host of The Bachelor called her "the real deal." He went on to rattle off some of her accomplishments in the modeling world and said she is "a very sincere" person. "I'd say keep an eye on Chelsea, but let's be honest: You don't need to say 'Keep an eye on Chelsea,'" he concluded.